“You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering.”
― Henri-Frédéric Amiel
In a way, who I am is inseparable from my suffering. My pain dictates my personality, my emotional resilience, and my ambition. My struggle to establish a soul that belongs to me only affects my relationships, even determines the people I want close to me.
If I had to get rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels too. If I’d never write about my suffering, you’d never quite get a sense that I’m an actual human being. Just like every single one of the perfect strangers you encounter on any given day.
Yet, somehow, writing about my struggles, my defeats, my pain makes me feel that I am somehow trying to turn my tears into gold.
If you were to look for it, you’d see this line in every single one of my novels, “We’re all strong enough to endure someone else’s tragedy.”
But the truth is, and this is something I’ve written about in the past, it’s a rare occurrence to write about the pain that made us stronger. The pain that made us want to die, yet we somehow emerged victorious.
Most times, pain doesn’t make much sense. Most times, we just hurt and bleed for a long, long time.
My soul is scarred with plenty of battle wounds that have yet to heal. Yes, I am still standing on my feet, but how am I supposed to write about the battles I’ve lost? What are you supposed to learn by reading about the pain that didn’t teach me anything at all?
In real life, our suffering doesn’t make us heroes. It complicates us, it turns our hearts into tight knots of fear and anger.
Writing about it for likes and reads is not going to make things better. The writing that’s therapeutic is just going to make a lot of people sad.
No one wants to read sob stories, no matter how raw and real they are. Word diminish true suffering. Our pain transcends value, yet to everyone else, it’s quite worthless.
Then is it right to believe that our suffering can be turned into gold? Can we use the story of how we lost everything to get a little bit back?
There’s this advice… be vulnerable. Write about what hurts.
But what if it hurts too much?
And what if we translate our narrative as if we’ve still not haunted by the gnawing sense of having lost some precious part of our souls?
What if we choose to ignore the bits that truly hurt, doing our best to tap-dance around the truth, so our readers can get a sugar-rush out of reading our sugarcoated stories of pain and vulnerability?
Isn’t that worse than not writing about our suffering at all?
Do you want to become one of those fake gurus, trying to extract tales of wisdom out of your own foolishness? Trying to share mistakes you haven’t turned into lessons as experience?
Something to think about next time you want to write about your vulnerable self, for the sake of authenticity.
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